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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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School

San Lorenzo Valley Unified School DistrictCandidate for Member, Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 3

Photo of Laura Dolson

Laura Dolson

Incumbent
5,769 votes (45.31%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Assure that teachers, staff, and families have the resources they need to support high-quality remote learning until full-time classroom education can resume.
  • Assure that students displaced and affected by the CZU fire have the resources and support they need during the recovery process, including emotional support.
  • Assure that students have access to the fullest feasible range of educational activities during this time, including arts, music, and athletics.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Incumbent; Retired health writer
Trustee, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District — Appointed position (2010–current)

Education

University of Vermont; California School of Professional Psychology Bachelor of Science (B.S.); Master of Arts (M.A.), B.S. in Physical Therapy; M.A. in Clinical Psychology (1991)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • George Wylie - Former SLVUSD Trustee

Organizations (1)

  • Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee (BAYMEC) - LGBT Advocacy

Elected Officials (4)

  • County Supervisor Bruce McPherson
  • Assemblyman Mark Stone
  • Trustee Mark Becker
  • Trustee Gail Levine

Questions & Answers

Questions from LWV Santa Cruz County (2)

Over the next year, what do you see as the two biggest challenges to be addressed in this office?
Answer from Laura Dolson:

The biggest challenge without question will be a financial one.  Not only will there be budget cuts from the State of California due to Covid, but we have projections that the losses to our community due to the CZU Lightning fire, as well as finanical hardships due to Covid, is causing a significant lessening of the numbers in our student population. This will result in a further reduction in state revenue.  We are going to have a few years of difficulties financially, and will have to determine the best way to navigate this while keeping the cuts as far from our classrooms as is feasible.

The second challenge has to do with balancing the importance of restoring face-to-face education with the safety of our entire school community, including students, teachers, staff, and families. With instructions from the state changing as the epidemic and our understanding of it evolves, we will have to be nimble and flexible in order to stay abreast of the data and adjust our methods as indicated.  Of course, it is generally more expensive to provide a safe education during this pandemic, so that adds to the complexity of how we plan for this.

What in your background, personal or professional, has prepared you to meet these challenges?
Answer from Laura Dolson:

The most recent comparable period of budget reductions to schools was after the 2008-2009 recession.  It took several years for us to get back to 2008 funding levels at that time, and we needed to make many adjustments.  I am the only trustee currently serving the District who was on the board at that time.

As a former health writer, I have the ability to read and understand a fair amount of health research, and I have been tracking the epidemic and the information coming out of the research.  Of course, I have been paying special attention to the emerging information about Covid in children, and also in patterns of infection.  I have been able to use this knowledge in discussions about our approach to educating our students during this time.

 

 

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